2017 was a busy year for the JACBA Committee of the Des Moines Branch

Photo by Al McDonell. Back row:  Jan Corderman, Vonnie Salem, Doris Covalt.  Front row:  Willa Tharpe, Mary Ann Koch, Karla Hansen

By Jan Corderman, Des Moines Branch 

There is nothing like a good book and friends to put a smile on the face of a class of third graders!  

Jan Corderman and Mary Ann Koch took New Shoes by Susan Meyer, one of the 2016 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award winners, to a group of third graders at St. Joseph School in Des Moines.

After asking the students to draw around their feet and talk about the difficulty of fitting shoes by using the drawing, the children listened to the book with deeper interest.  Then, each student drew a picture representing a scene from the story that caught their attention.

As a special treat for the students, Jan arranged for them to skype with the author.  They were able to show Susan Meyer their pictures and ask her questions about the process of writing a book.  Several remarked that it was much more involved than they had thought.  Susan even shared how she had worked with the illustrator of the book to determine how best to show her ideas.  Her cat joined her, when it was time to say goodbye.

The class hated to end their time with the author.  About a week later, we received Thank You notes from the students.                                  

Other Book Outings

Vonnie Salem presented three award winning books to the entire student body and faculty at Samuelson Elementary School.  The principal noted that the book, Lillian’s Right to Vote, fit perfectly into the 5th grade curriculum.  Some faculty members also said they appreciated hearing about all the books, so they could plan ways to use them in class.

Doris Covalt presented books to the Forest Ave Library, something she has been doing for several years.  Doris is a “Friend” of the Library.

In April, our Branch scheduled a Watch Party at the Forest Avenue Library.  Over cake and coffee, we watched the announcement of the 2017 winners of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards.  We invited the librarians to join us, further spreading the word about the wonderful books.

A highlight of the year was reading Des Moines branch member Karla Hansen’s new children’s book, The Shimmering Secret.  We invited her to meet with our committee and share the details of her book and encouraged attendance at Karla’s announcement events.  We were so pleased when The Shimmering Secret was selected for a Mom’s Choice Award and was also named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services.

For more information, contact Jan Corderman at jancorderman@msn.com.


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